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What is Organic September: how does organic food help us and 6 tips to shop organically for less

Darcey Sergison September 14, 2020
Agriculture In Ontario
Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

This September a community of people is trying to shop organically in a movement called Organic September. 

What is organic food?

Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.

To shop organically not only prevents the use of GMOs and man-made fertilisers, which can damage the environment, but is better for you.

How do I know if food is organic?

When shopping look out for the Soil Association which is the gold standard of organic labelling. 

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The UK’s world-leading food standards are amongst the highest in the world. However, this could be compromised under a UK-US trade deal, with consumers unable to make meaningful choices about what they eat. Now more than ever it is important to try and shop organically, and here is how.

What can I do for Organic September?

1. Try to avoid supermarkets where possible

As organic produce is known for being expensive, the best way to get a good deal is to price check. Supermarkets are not always the best value. Instead you should check out online organic shops or visit local farmers’ markets and greengrocers. 

2. Organic box scheme

These competitively priced schemes will give you fresh produce weekly with a selection of fruit and vegetables to mix up your weekly meals. While supporting local farmers, it will also save you time scouring shopping aisles for your five a day.

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3. Cook from scratch

Organic September can be the ideal excuse to sharpen your culinary skills. By cooking raw ingredients from scratch, you know exactly what is in your food. Despite the claim that convenience food can be healthy, to ensure you know what you are eating cook it from scratch and you can measure every ingredient yourself. If you are working full-time it can be easier said than done to cook from scratch. But if you make extra it can be eaten for lunch the next day or frozen for later use.

4. Buy dried, tinned and frozen organic food

Organic food does not just have to be fresh produce. Buying dried, tinned and frozen food can be another tip for staying healthy at a lower cost. This food also tends to last longer so is a great food to stock your cupboards.

5. Less and better meat

Even if you are not vegan or a vegetarian, it is still important to try and reduce your meat intake to help the environment. Rather than buying battery chickens with low food standards, instead buy less meat weekly and treat yourself to better quality organic and free-range pieces. Not all organic meat is expensive as you can also buy less expensive belly and shoulder pieces.

6. Buy seasonal

By buying food that is in season locally prevents the large importing of food. This is significantly better for the environment as it reduces C02 emissions and food miles. It also tends to be cheaper due to being in abundance so you can branch out into a mixture of ingredients at different times of the year. 

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